Note to our followers: Our nearly 13-year run of daily publication of new content on comes to a close at the end of 2018. Publisher Gary Schwitzer and other contributors may post new articles periodically. But all of the 6,000+ articles we have published contain lessons to help you improve your critical thinking about health care interventions. And those will be still be alive on the site for a couple of years.

Bitter SCHIP recipe

On this blog I have been remiss not to weigh in on the recent and ongoing debate over children’s health insurance and the SCHIP or State Children’s Health Insurance Program. Not surprisingly, some of the wittiest commentary has come from Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. Their segments within the past week should not be missed. […]


Reader Response to "Too Brief To Matter" Discussion

We received some interesting feedback in response to our last Publisher’s Note, “Too Brief To Matter – Part Two: The benefits/harms of briefs & digests,” and wanted to share some of it with you. We are planning a revision to our site that would provide a better place to host such discussions online in the […]


The corruption of health journalism awards

Australian journalism Melissa Sweet, in a piece entitled, “The ties that bind: how big pharma buys a good press,” in the Australian online magazine Crikey (subscription required but free trial available), writes: “The media is often quick to get on its high horse about the pharmaceutical industry’s wining and dining of doctors, but is much […]


Health news that is too brief to matter

On our website, we’ve posted a new Publisher’s Note to foster discussion about what’s missing in so many of those “health news briefs” or “health watch” digests or “medical minutes.” In the 17 months that we’ve been reviewing stories from about 60 major U.S. news organizations, we have given our top five-star score to […]


Another news story about the limitations of some studies

Yesterday we profiled a Wall Street Journal column about the statistical flaws in some studies. Today we point out a Los Angeles Times column that gives readers a better understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of epidemiologic studies. Excerpts: “(Critics say that) far too many of these epidemiological studies — in which the habits and […]


20/20 lacks vision on Stossel health care special

Just watched John Stossel’s special, “Whose Body Is It Anyway? Sick in America,” on the ABC News 20/20 program. Wow. Simplistic. Superficial. Shallow. Superfluous. Just one example: he used laser eye surgery and cosmetic surgery as two examples of how the competitive marketplace can bring health care costs under control. No discussion of quality. No […]


Too Brief To Matter – Part Two: The Benefits/Harms of Briefs and Digests

We want to re-open a discussion we first started earlier this year in a note called “Too Brief To Matter” about the value of health news briefs, digests, “health headline” sections and the like. In the 17 months that we’ve been reviewing stories from about 60 major U.S. news organizations, we have given our top […]


Reporters not asking right questions on health care reform

Johns Hopkins University president William Brody, in a speech at the National Press Club on Friday, said journalists are not asking presidential candidates the right questions about health care reform. “If you’re only reporting cost and coverage issues, you‘re missing a big part of the story,â€? Brody said. Brody said that almost no one — […]


British M.D.-journalist slams journalists for conflicts of interest

Ben Goldacre, in this week’s BMJ writes: I was surprised last week by an email circular I received from a science writers’ mailing list. It was from the Aspirin Foundation, a group funded by the drug industry, and it was offering—on behalf of Bayer Healthcare—to pay expenses for journalists to attend the European Society of […]

8/20/2007 a finalist for a FREDDIE award

We’ve been notified that has been judged to be a finalist in the category of Web Sites in the 2007 International Health & Medical Media Awards. All category winners will be named by September 17. is now 15 months old, has reviewed more than 400 stories, and has already won a Knight-Batten Award […]


Tips & Resources for Analyzing Health Care Claims

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